The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought.
~ Richard Feynman
One of the books I refer to frequently in my coaching is Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny. I recommend it for your axiom leadership library.
In the book Mr. Grenny discusses how we often hear, read, or see something and then “tell ourselves a story” about what it means. The story we tell ourselves determines how we feel, which then drives how we act in response to what we heard, read or saw.
Stephen M.R. Covey teaches that we seem to judge others by their behavior and judge ourselves by our intent. When that is the case, the story we tell ourselves generally is not favorable to the other party. If the story we tell ourselves is negative or critical of the other person, then we tend to have feelings such as sadness, anger, fear, mistrust, or disappointment towards that person. When this occurs the relationship of trust suffers and our leadership is weakened.
The moment of choice is between the stimulus and your response, right at the point you tell yourself the story. To tell yourself correct stories, ensure you understand the facts behind what you hear, read, or see BEFORE you tell yourself a story. If the opportunity to learn the facts is not readily available, then tell yourself a DIFFERENT story than what might be natural. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. That usually keeps your emotions in check and allows you to approach sometimes tense situations with calm and clear leadership. More often than not, as Mr. Feynman said, the truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought.
Choose positive and good stories. It will make all the difference.